It was a full house at the Ravens’ Nest on Friday night for one of the biggest basketball games of the year in Ottawa. When all was said and done it was a second quarter shooting spree by the Ravens and their ability to convert second chance points that made the difference in the game as Carleton took the 94-73 victory to close out the first half of the season.
After an extremely tight first 15 minutes, Carleton jumped ahead to a 16 point lead nearing the halftime break. The Gee-Gees were able to battle back in the second half, coming to within nine points, yet remained unable to overcome the deficit.
“Overall we are still having a good season. I think whenever you come here you know they are going to come out and make big shots. We have to stop them when they are on the run because once they have that going they are deadly,” said head coach James Derouin. “We will go home, regroup and try to learn from this experience. We have to because the second half of the season will be loaded with high calibre teams like this.”
Power house forward Tyson Hinz was in his regular form for Carleton, leading the Ravens in scoring with 32 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Hinz also had a notable performance from beyond the arc shooting 4-for-5 in the first half and 6-for-9 on the night.
The Gee-Gees were out-rebounded 45-to-34 on the night which fourth year forward Vikas Gill chalked up to being the determining factor in the game. “I think rebounding killed us, without a doubt. As a result, they got way too many second chance points and we cannot let that happen. With that said, it’s a long season and we would much rather take this loss now than later. We will learn from it and move on.”
Despite the final outcome, it was a seesaw first half between the two best teams in the country with both teams trading baskets constantly and fighting for every single possession. However, the seesaw battle quickly turned into a game of catch-up for the Gee-Gees. After keeping the game tight throughout most of the first half Ottawa’s defence fell apart as the half-time break approached and they allowed Carleton to jump ahead to a commanding lead.
The Ravens displayed their ability to light it up from three-point land as they were absolutely deadly in the first half, shooting 8-for-15 from beyond the arc. As a result, they took a 54-37 lead into the halftime break, limiting Ottawa to its lowest scoring first half of the season.
Terry Thomas was a strong presence on both sides of the court for the Gee-Gees as he contributed well offensively with 11 points and seven rebounds. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia native contributed well on defence as well with four blocks and two steals.
“It just felt good to finally be back out there. It has been a long year so I just tried to enjoy it the best I could,” said Thomas. “The atmosphere in this gym is wild. It was a great experience to be part of it. It’s just too bad we didn’t get the outcome we wanted.”
The Gee-Gees will now take time off for the winter break, but will return to action after Christmas when they travel to Winnipeg for a weekend tournament.